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Old May 30th, 2009, 02:20 PM   #1
Alex
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Announcing the NinjetteWiki!

wiki.ninjette.org is alive!

Technology has crept up with what I wanted to do here on ninjette.org, and we now have our very own wiki. For those unfamiliar with what a wiki is, it is a different way of capturing and organizing information online compared to a forum. The largest and best known wiki is Wikipedia. We're actually using the exact same software here on wiki.ninjette.org that they use on Wikipedia! In a wiki, anyone can create an entry. But the interesting part is that anyone can edit that same entry. In this way, anyone can improve and add to the information along the way until the article is about as good as it's ever going to get. What makes this process work is that people are immediately notified by email when changes are made to the articles they are "watching", and there are powerful tools to roll-back and undo changes if they aren't helpful. I've started to include some information in the wiki so we're not starting from scratch, but there's a long way to go. The goal is for this wiki to eventually hold everything you'd ever want to know about the 2nd-gen Ninjette. What this means is that if a new member comes on to this site and asks a common question, they can quickly be pointed to the wiki entry that answers their question in detail. This doesn't mean the goal of the wiki is to stifle discussion, it just means that it can be used as a great reference for common questions so the same topics aren't rehashed over and over again. Frees us up for more interesting discussions!

How to get started?

Your same forum user accounts are used over on the wiki side, the first time you click over to the wiki area a new wiki-account is automatically set up. Before you edit or add any of your own pages to the wiki, go to My Preferences from the wiki navbar and enter in your email address, then hit save at the bottom. This makes sure that if you do edit or add pages and someone edits them afterwards, you get that immediate email to let you know of any changes.

To edit an existing page, just hit edit and go to town! To create a new wiki page, all you do is go to a page that doesn't exist yet. Simple as that. For example, if you want to create a page about elephants, just point your browser to: "wiki.ninjette.org/elephants". At this point, one of us may have actually created a page there, so use whatever different example you like. It's common to have longer page names like this: "wiki.ninjette.org/why_are_there_so_many_hawaiians_here", and to separate words just use an underscore _. If a page doesn't exist, there's a link shown to you to immediately create such a page.

Categories

When you're done creating a new entry, it's appropriate to put a category or two right at the bottom of the text. The category makes it easier for people to find your entry. The existing categories are:
  • All Bikes
  • Bodywork & Frame
  • Brakes
  • Break-in
  • Clutch & Transmission
  • Controls & Cables
  • Current-gen Bikes
  • Electrical, Lighting, and Gauges
  • Engine
  • Exhaust
  • Final Drive
  • GPS
  • Intake
  • Luggage & Touring
  • Maintenance
  • Pre-gen Bikes
  • Suspension
  • Test
  • Tires
  • Troubleshooting
  • Wheels
  • Wiki Info

To categorize an entry, all you do is put this text right at the bottom: [[Category:Wheels]]. If you want to categorize it in more than one, just use multiple entries like this:

[[Category:Wheels]]
[[Category:Troubleshooting]]

Then if someone is browsing either category, your entry will show up in both. If you want to create a new category, all you do is just put the name of the new category right into an entry same as above, and the new category is automatically created. Magic.

Pictures / Files

There are some differences in attaching pictures and files in the wiki environment. Historically, wiki's have often been set up to allow no external linking of images. This is so that the wiki itself contains all of its own information, and external changes on the web won't affect its completeness or accuracy. But on a forum site, it's very common for people to use IMG links to link to external images. So the wiki programmers have made some concessions to allow external images, and if you put a link to an image in your text, it will automatically show that image within the text. The hitch is that the image address must end in a .jpg, .png, or .gif. This seems OK, except a number of image URL's don't include that at the end of their addresses, even from places like our own pictures & albums area on ninjette.org. The upside is that the wiki software makes it easy to upload pictures directly to the wiki entry, so in many cases that's the easiest way to go. Other types of files (PDF's, etc.) are the same way. I can add to the types of files that are permitted, so if you need to add one that isn't working, just let me know.

What about linking to threads in the forum?

There's certainly nothing wrong with putting links to relevant forum threads within wiki entries. In fact, that's about all the wiki is made up of right now. But I hope that is not the case forever; the content in the wiki should eventually stand on its own, with supporting links pointing to forum threads. As things get rewritten and updated, the wiki will become more and more a standalone reference work. So don't feel bad about linking to threads when it makes sense, but I don't want the wiki to be nothing more than a different index to existing forum threads. The wiki has a different yet complementary purpose to the forum on this site.

Syntax

Wikis use slightly different syntax from what you may be used to. It's a little different than the BBCode used here on the forum, and it's a little simpler than HTML. But it still takes a little bit of time to get used to it. I've gotten it down over the past few days, and it's really not that hard. You just have to learn how links are done, and that's really about it. To link to another web page on the wiki, it's done like this:

[http://www.random.com Random]

What that syntax does is show "Random" in the text, and when you click "Random", it will take the user to that URL. For links that you want to use more than one word to describe, you just use 'em. Anything after the first space after the URL is considered the label for that URL.

[http://www.multiple.com Multiple Words Are Just Fine]

For the full details on the entire wiki syntax, check out either: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_to_edit or here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Cheatsheet

I set up a Test page (right at wiki.ninjette.org/Test_page, and its entire purpose is for us to play with to figure out how to edit and use the software. Change it, edit it, add pics, files, whatever you like just to see how it works.

So what now?

Go take a peek! See what's there already. See what's missing. And if the desire strikes you, create a page! Next time you're answering a common question for someone on the forum, consider creating a wiki entry instead, then linking to that wiki entry from the forum. Won't make sense for everything, but for a number of questions, I think it would. I'm really looking forward to see how this grows...
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Old May 31st, 2009, 09:52 AM   #2
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Big to noche_caliente for the first user-generated new article up in the NinjetteWiki! Here's a direct link to her Pazzo Levers DIY that's now online...
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Old May 31st, 2009, 10:37 AM   #3
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Old May 31st, 2009, 12:53 PM   #4
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Just a quick question.... This is only for new gen bikes? Is this another instance of "leaving the pregen stuff to ninja250.org?" I find it much easier to find things on this site and it's more helpful. Are you sure we can't use the wiki for both generations? Maybe just put "pregen" as a category and as part of the title so people can tell the difference easy? Just an idea. It's ok if you don't use it.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:15 PM   #5
Alex
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Hi Michael - we can certainly add pre-gen as a category, and anyone is certainly welcome to post up anything they think is appropriate in the wiki. As you mention though, as 250.org already has a pretty complete wiki for the 1st-gen stuff, I don't want to necessarily spend a whole lot of time duplicating what they already have if we can instead be focusing on what they don't have much of yet. That said, a whole bunch of items in the wiki would likely apply to all gens, so adding "pregen" as an additional category on a number of existing wiki entries and many future ones isn't a bad idea at all.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:22 PM   #6
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Ok, sounds good. Thanks.
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Old May 31st, 2009, 01:22 PM   #7
Alex
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K - I added the category to the index and added the new category to a number of existing Wiki entries that I thought could apply. There are probably a few more that it could be added to, so if you'd like to take a peek and apply the ones that make sense, go for it.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 12:54 AM   #8
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cool. what an exciting addition to the forum
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Old June 7th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #9
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Nice job! MediaWiki rocks! I use it at work for process documentation, sure beats stacks of print-outs... much easier to manage as well. Also, glad to see the single sign-on.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:08 PM   #10
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I just added direct links to the wiki near the links to the forum tech sections, I'm hoping it helps keep it top of mind as people are deciding to post up a technical article as a forum thread or a wiki entry. Right now the default seems to be forum thread, but I'm hoping that over time at least a small portion start out as wiki entries...
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:25 PM   #11
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Alex can you have that notice up about the wiki above be permanent?? instead of being able to click on the x. It has helped me remember to keep it in mind. Just a suggestion.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:46 PM   #12
Alex
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Hi Zartan -

I don't like to make any of those notices unable to be clicked off. The only ones I have like that are mandatory ones like "you still need to register your email" or "your PM box is 90% full". Anything that's just a general announcement should be under the control of the user to remove when they want.

The reason I think this is important is that users have very different screen resolutions. I've got two huge monitors, so that one line doesn't really take up much screen real estate for me and it doesn't bug me at all. Someone using this site on a laptop at 1024/768 or even a netbook at 1024/600 resolution may be sincerely cheezed off at having an extra line of text at the top of every page that they can't remove.

I do want to continue to promote the wiki as much as feasible though, which is why I added the link right in the navbar, as well as a link from each tech area. While I hope that it continues to get more use (I haven't seen a new article from anyone but me in a week ), I think it now has enough links on the front page that it's no longer a matter of people just not knowing about it. I also try to remind people within threads if I thinik it's an appropriate place to mention it.
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Old June 9th, 2009, 11:50 PM   #13
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Makes good sense..

I do not feel articulate enough to write a wiki.

Maybe I will warm up to it. Then a monster will be created!!

Lately I am not doing many mods, just riding but alot has been covered already...
dyi, oil, fender elim, windscreens, tank noise etc...
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Old June 15th, 2009, 04:30 AM   #14
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Two jobs keeping me busy this year...

My service agreement is going to be up soon. Looks like I'll be keeping the bike even with a new addition to the family on the way. My wife eventually wants the Ninjette for herself, and I want a sidecar rig so I can take along both kids someday. Nothing cooler than dad dropping you off at school on a motorbike

For the wiki, I'll hopefully have time to contribute write-ups with pics in the near future, as I'll be doing all my own maintenance by the fall. It's a good outlet and I hope it thrives. Good job again Alex!
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Old June 21st, 2009, 10:56 AM   #15
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i'm not saying i know how to do this, but it might be possible to import content from the other ninja 250 wiki into this one. you'd probably want permission to do that, of course.
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Old June 21st, 2009, 03:06 PM   #16
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I don't think that's likely to happen. Our goal isn't to recreate the 250.org wiki; theirs is already pretty darned good for the pre-gens. But it doesn't have much at all for the new-gens, and that's where this one here can differentiate itself a bit. No reason to not add pre-gen stuff to this one, especially for topics that carry across all generations, it's just that I don't want us to spend a whole bunch of our own energy just duplicating something that's already out there.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #17
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Alex,
Good job on implementing MediaWiki and integrating authentication. I just posted my first entry and like it so far. I've had some experience installing using the software at work. It can be a pain to get configured at times.

I like the ability to specify which generation bikes that an entry may apply to. I'd suggest multiple categories when referring to generation:

[[Category:Pre-gen_Bikes]]
[[Category:Current-gen_Bikes]]
[[Category:All_Bikes]]

I browse the Web via Firefox. When working in wiki's, I use an add-on called Text Formatting Toolbar. It helps to toggle between wiki, BBcode and html code on the fly. Of course, I'm not above copying code from another page to match style .

I'll try to add more content as I find time (two jobs and another kid on the way). I know I have some modifications unique to my bike that I should really share with everyone.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 02:07 PM   #18
Alex
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Good ideas, sprale! My first thought was that categories like that would become outmoded when the next gen ninjette comes out, but then I realized we're probably good for quite a few years. I'll start adding 'em to the existing pages as applicable.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 02:48 PM   #19
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Ok, I've added the 3 categories and now have some wiki entries in each of the 3. Categories don't require underscores between words, so the new categories are simply:

All Bikes
Current-gen Bikes
Pre-gen Bikes

I've put this categorization first within the entries. Order doesn't matter, it's just convention.
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Old June 26th, 2009, 03:35 PM   #20
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Thanks Alex. I've been keeping detailed notes on mods, parts, etc. for a while in text on my Mac. It makes sense to transition to the wiki so others can take advantage of my research. As I find free time (ha ha) I'll add that info to the wiki. Also, thanks for being open to suggestions.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 05:08 PM   #21
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Wiki user ID bridge is back up and running as expected!
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Old April 25th, 2014, 05:06 PM   #22
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The wiki is currently down. I was trying to update it from version 1.15 up to a a more current 1.22 (it's about 4 years old at this point). Somehow it was completely borked in the update. I'm not sure that the mods I have installed to allow the vbulletin access are still compatible with the new version. I'm currently restoring from a backup, so it should be back up to where it was sometime later tonight.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 05:27 PM   #23
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OK, back up and running with older version.
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Old April 25th, 2014, 11:05 PM   #24
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Updated to 1.15.5 successfully
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Old April 25th, 2014, 11:05 PM   #25
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Updated now to 1.16.5 successfully (trying to see where it falls down).
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Old April 26th, 2014, 10:12 AM   #26
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Reverted to 15.5; issues with saving user preferences with 16.5.
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Old August 9th, 2015, 03:06 PM   #27
Alex
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Somewhat frightening bump. The wiki does not appear to be displaying pages anymore. I am not sure if it is related to a recent software update, or another cause. I have db backups with the content, and if you click "random page" it still shows a random topic, but not the content, so I'm hopeful that this is fixable.
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Old September 9th, 2015, 08:18 PM   #28
pb3
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any news? all i get is the word "index"
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Old September 9th, 2015, 11:30 PM   #29
Alex
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A bit of troubleshooting, but no firm solution yet. Here's what it looks like it is related to:

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Manua..._text_is_there

Updating to a version of PHP that is reasonably secure, ends up with some ancillary software that isn't compatible with the version of MediaWiki I need to run to integrate with vBulletin. When I have some more time to tweak, I will see if I can downgrade just some necessary PHP components to see if it fixes the issue. It's a bit of a sticky conundrum.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 06:07 PM   #30
InvisiBill
EX500 full of EX250 parts
 
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Name: Bill
Location: Grand Rapids-ish, MI
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Motorcycle(s): '18 Ninja 400 • '09 Ninja 500R (selling) • '98 VFR800 (project) • '85 Vulcan VN700 (sold)

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MOTM - Aug '15
Anything further on this? I've found wikis to be a great way to make information accessible (better than random people's websites, sticky threads, etc.), so it being down makes me sad.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 06:13 PM   #31
Alex
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Blog Entries: 7
Sadly, no. Still the same situation - it's an unkind choice between backdating to vulnerable PHP, placing the larger forum at greater risk, or losing the ability to run that old version of mediawiki that integrates with vB. It's a symptom of a larger problem, though. This whole architecture is on its last legs, and will need to be migrated en masse to something supported at some point in the not too distant future. It's probably not vBulletin, with XenForo as the likeliest choice. (still supported, still has security patches developed, etc.).
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Old July 5th, 2016, 07:12 AM   #32
Yakaru
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Name: Yakaru
Location: Issaquah, WA & Las Vegas, NV
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Motorcycle(s): Saturn ('13 300), Pearl ('15 300), Zero ('16 S1000RR), Chibi ('17 Z125), Xellos ('18 HP4R)

Posts: A lot.
MOTM - Jun '16
Just ran into this today. Was mostly able to reconstruct the wiki pages I wanted with the history tab :P

If we ninjetters could help with any of the upgrade process let us know Alex!
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Old September 14th, 2018, 01:29 PM   #33
digirat
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broken again?
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Old September 15th, 2018, 09:03 AM   #34
Alex
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Motorcycle(s): '13 Ninja 300 (white, the fastest color!), '13 R1200RT, '14 CRF250L, '12 TT-R125LE, '15 CRF110F, '13 TT-R50E

Posts: Too much.
Blog Entries: 7
No change; it's been down since 2015. I was hopeful that there would be resolution, but nothing ever came through with an update for that bridge.
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